Halima Mohiuddin, Founder, Leadership Think Tanks Inc

Halima Mohiuddin is the founder of Leadership Think Tanks Inc. She is a respected higher education visionary. She has also been a professional development coach and a leadership capacity-building expert to numerous S&P 500 corporate giants like P&G, Nestle, etc. She has also served on the Executive Development teams hired by several government entities and global institutions like The World Bank and The Commonwealth. Some of her many specializations are in Finance, MIS, Healthcare Management, Process Engineering, and Innovation. She is passionately invested in transforming the global education landscape. With over 20 years of experience in the corporate and education sectors, she has a proven track record of transforming educational institutions, building leadership capacity, and driving innovation encompassing all stakeholders.


For decades, academic success has been attributed to intelligence quotient (IQ), but recent research suggests that another type of intelligence, emotional intelligence (EQ), is essential for success in higher education. EQ is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions, both one’s own and others. Higher levels of EQ have been linked to better academic performance, higher levels of well-being, and more positive social relationships. Therefore, developing emotional intelligence competencies such as empathy, self-awareness, and relationship management can help students and leaders in higher education institutions achieve their goals and improve overall well-being.

The Impact and Significance of EQ in Higher Education

Research published in the Journal of College Student Development indicates that students with high levels of emotional intelligence tend to participate more in academic activities, such as attending classes, studying, and interacting with faculty. The study also found that students with higher EQ were more likely to have positive social relationships and higher levels of well-being (Brackett et al., 2010).

Another study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that emotional intelligence was positively associated with academic achievement. The study found that students with higher levels of emotional intelligence tend to have higher GPAs and are more likely to graduate from college than those with lower EQ (Zeidner et al., 2012).

In addition, KPMG found that EQ competencies such as empathy, relationship management, and self-awareness were critical for effective leadership in higher education institutions (KPMG, 2021). According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, emotional intelligence is a critical skill for leaders and organizations to succeed. In higher education, where leadership skills are essential for success, EQ can make a significant difference (McKinsey & Company, 2016).

The American Association of Psychology supports the importance of emotional intelligence in higher education, indicating that “higher levels of emotional intelligence may be associated with better academic performance, leadership, and overall well-being” (APA, 2021).

EQ Enhancement in Higher Education: 5 Strategic Ways

Here are five strategic ways to incorporate EQ enhancement in higher education:

  1. Incorporate EQ into the curriculum: Higher education institutions can develop courses focusing on emotional intelligence and teach students about emotional management, empathy, and relationship building.
  2. Provide emotional intelligence training: Higher education institutions can offer workshops and training programs focusing on developing emotional intelligence skills such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
  3. Introduce emotional intelligence assessments: Higher education institutions can offer EQ assessments to students and provide feedback on their emotional intelligence skills to help them develop and improve.
  4. Encourage emotional intelligence development in student groups and clubs: Higher education institutions can create student groups and clubs that focus on emotional intelligence development, which can help students build social connections and improve their overall well-being.
  5. Emphasize the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership development: Higher education institutions can emphasize the importance of EQ in leadership development and offer leadership training programs that focus on developing emotional intelligence skills.


In conclusion, EQ plays a vital role in academic success, leadership, and overall well-being in higher education. The incorporation of EQ enhancement strategies into higher education can benefit students, faculty, and the institution as a whole. By prioritizing EQ alongside IQ, higher education institutions can better equip students and leaders with the skills needed for success in the 21st century.

Higher education institutions can provide students with the opportunity to develop their emotional intelligence competencies through coursework, training, assessments, and extracurricular activities. Moreover, the development of EQ can be incorporated into leadership development programs to create more effective leaders.

By focusing on EQ enhancement, higher education institutions can create an environment that fosters academic achievement.


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